Developing a Partnership
As a vegetation management specialist with Corteva Agriscience, Scott Wright provides technical support, product recommendations and industry best practices to customers throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Wright and Huff have worked together since 2019 to develop a progressive plan of action that includes the gradual integration of cutting-edge solutions and refined product chemistries.
“My top priority is focusing on my customer’s objectives,” Wright says. “After that, I focus on identifying the right herbicides for the job and ensuring they are being used properly. For the chemical side-trimming practices used by OG&E, a tank-mix containing TerraVue and Vastlan herbicides was a super fit.”
TerraVue® herbicide – which is powered by Rinskor® active, a reduced-risk herbicide that won the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award – controls more than 140 broadleaf weeds and brush species. Tank-mixing TerraVue with Vastlan® herbicide provides a solid foundation to the brush control program employed by OG&E and increases flexibility for the utility’s chemical side-trimming applications.
Shawn Huff (left) and Scott Wright have applied industry best practices for OG&E right-of-way management since 2019.
With the help of environmental service providers at Edko, OG&E is able to complete its side-trimming applications using a single truck equipped with a spray tank. According to Huff, eliminating the need for heavy mowing equipment has paid dividends when interacting with landowners adjacent to herbicide application sites.
“Customers are a lot more receptive to the fact that we can show up with a pickup truck and spray tank instead of a trailer towing a giant piece of equipment. It’s much less invasive.”
Increasing Environmental Sustainability
Improving the control of problematic vegetation and protecting desirable trees aren’t the only environmental benefits OG&E works to achieve. The utility has conducted research studies and partners with various groups throughout local communities to support the development of flowers and grasses that represent beneficial habitat for pollinator species. In support of this initiative, Huff worked with Scott Wright and Corteva Agriscience to identify a solution that could help protect the pollinators. The answer was grass-friendly herbicide applications.
“If my pollinator program doesn’t properly co-exist with our right-of-way program, that’s a problem for me,” Huff says. “Using grass-friendly applications to solve our woody stem problem keeps grasses intact for the pollinators,” Huff says. “That means we are going to be able to do the right thing by supporting the pollinators while controlling our rights-of-way effectively.”
As selective herbicide applications and grass-friendly brush mixes enhance the development of native plant communities, they also eliminate areas where unwanted brush species can develop. These effects can lower maintenance costs for utility vegetation management programs and support the development of biodiverse habitat for various wildlife species, including birds, insects and pollinator species.
“Keeping our grasses intact for the pollinators means that we are going to be able to co-exist our pollinator initiatives with our right-of-way initiatives to provide safe and reliable power,” Huff says. “That’s why it’s important.”
To learn more about successful herbicide programs or management techniques that enhance vegetation control and the development of beneficial wildlife habitat, visit HabitatWithHerbicides.com.
™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Rinskor® is a registered active ingredient. Under normal field conditions, TerraVue® is nonvolatile. TerraVue has no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with TerraVue and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. TerraVue and Vastlan® are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Consult the label for full details. Always read and follow label directions.